“I will teach you to walk, even if there are no legs”

Krasnodarka, who lost both legs, leads a motivational blog on Instagram.

Irina Mirnaya, 34, told how she fought for the right to stand on her own two feet again and why she decided to help people who find themselves in a wheelchair.

Irina Mirnaya

Step by step

On December 1, 2011, the driver, who fell asleep at the wheel of the old seven, divided Irina’s life into before and after.

A work colleague gave the girl a lift to the bus stop, and when she went around the car to pick up things from the trunk, a car crashed into her: the bumper literally cut off her legs.

Caring people tied the wounds with tourniquets, which saved my life, – recalls Irina. – Doctors of the regional hospital fought for my legs for 5 hours. But they were faced with a choice – saving lives or saving legs, they had to choose the first. When, after resuscitation, I came to my senses and saw what happened to my legs, I was shocked and horrified. But she didn’t cry, because she clearly imagined how desperate my family was. I firmly decided that I would start walking again, even if it hurt a lot.

Many experts did not believe that a girl with a paired amputation at the hip level would be able to walk. Of the five such people, four have prostheses in the closet. But Irina was 100 percent sure that she would walk.

I got to my feet six months after the incident. I immediately realized that prostheses cannot replace real legs and movements will be limited. But for me it was such a happiness to stand and take steps on my own. This is an incredible feeling after long months of sitting in a wheelchair.

Irina learned to walk again for three months. It was hard both mentally and physically, but the goal spurred me on: to return to work at the bank on my own two feet. She did it in August 2013. And she also learned to drive a car with a manual control, got married and gave birth to a son – in a word, she accepted herself and again learned to lead a fulfilling life.

The problem is the task

Both Irina’s first prostheses and the ones she wears now are the most modern in the world. They are equipped with an electronic knee that automatically adjusts to the pace of walking, resulting in a smoother gait.

The entire process of prosthetics was paid by the state. At first, they wanted to get treatment and training prostheses. But that would throw my progress two years back. In the end, I was able to prove to the commission that I deserve electric prostheses, and they gave me money.

How comfortable is it for people with disabilities in our city? Although Irina is not used to complaining, but silently overcomes all obstacles, she admits: it is not easy.

In Krasnodar, as well as in Russia as a whole, many devices are made for show and it is frankly dangerous to use them. Once I went to the lorcenter on st. Zakharova. I got to the medical facility with great difficulty, and left it at all with a risk to her life: the staircase leading inside was in a dilapidated state, and the handrails were located at knee level, so it was simply impossible to hold on to them. But in general, I try not to dwell on the fact that I cannot do something, and I do not try to use the so-called victim position. If all the wheelchair parking spaces are occupied, I park the car and walk. I see problems as challenges for growth.

Stability is just an illusion

Recently Irina Mirnaya started her blog on Instagram. The motto of her page is: “I will teach you to walk, even if there are no legs.”

I recently created an account. It wasn’t originally intended as a motivational blog. I just shared photos and stories from my life. But soon she began to receive responses from subscribers. People write that my story inspires them and makes them look at their problems from a completely different angle.

Therefore, Irina decided to become a motivator for those who find themselves in a similar situation. It helps you find the confidence to love your body and learn to walk again. The girl has already received many messages from people who, thanks to her support, decided to stand on prostheses.

You know, I stopped hiding my dentures under my clothes only a year ago. And then it became much easier to live. Now I can wear what I like. People pay attention to me on the street, and it’s nice. I don’t see anything wrong with banal curiosity. Maybe a person who looks at a fragile girl on prostheses will think about his life and rethink it. I believe that everything that happens to us gives an invaluable experience that helps to grow above ourselves. Stability is an illusion. Tomorrow everything in your life can suddenly change. But don’t forget that life is a game in which you make the rules yourself.

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